NETWORK Rail has permanently stabilised half a mile of subsiding embankment beneath the Chiltern main line in Buckinghamshire, using a novel Japanese system.
NR engineers used a Giken silent piling machine to drive 865 six-metre steel sheet piles deep into the earth and form solid barriers either side of the railway at Bridge Farm, near Aylesbury.
Behind them, around 27,000 tonnes of stone was packed into place, topped with soil seeded with grass for a neat green finish to the strengthened embankment.
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The solution was cheaper and quicker than traditional methods, which would have required lengthy line closures.
The £2.9m scheme was implemented between May and August, and ended the need for temporary repairs to shore up the track to maintain ride quality and safety.
Mark Evans, works delivery programme manager on Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “The Giken machine grips the neighbouring steel sheet pile and silently uses it to lever in the next one, and so on.
“It’s simple, safe and saves taxpayers’ cash – exactly how we like it.”
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